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Going on Strike soon: Spain, the Guardian, The Tube Drivers – I stand with you comrades.

Tom Winnifrith
Friday 9 November 2012

The Greek General strike has come and gone. A few riots, a few more businesses closed than usual but no real change. Unemployment creeps up. The 4th Reich imposes more austerity and society falls apart. And so as the workers ( or in the case of Greece, non-workers) of the world unite who is next to strike? For a range of reasons I urge some of the lead candidates to go ahead – comrades I stand along side you.

Starting with the poor oppressed editorial team at The Guardian newspaper – average salary no idea but with some highly paid columnists (Polly Toynbee on £300,000) pushing up the mean. My guess is that most of the writers on the Guardian are on £50,000 plus and heck you do not get to live in Islington and Camden if you are on the minimum wage. The paper is losing £100,000 a day and management wants to cut costs. Naturally the poor Guardian workers think this is a monstrous suggestion and are planning a strike.

Obviously the BBC might have to come up with its own stories now but elsewhere I cannot see how this is going to hurt anyone. In North London they will have to struggle by with the Indy for a few days. Of course it is a pointless strike which will only hasten the demise of a loathsome publication. Basic economics dictate that if you produce a crap product no-one will pay for on the back of a bloated cost base you go bust. That is the Guardian to a T.

There will be free champagne ( English) on offer at The Real Man Pizza Company the day the Guardian closes for good. The strike hastens that day. So comrade journalists, I stand by your side.

Next up is Spain where a General strike has been called to protest against austerity imposed by the 4th Reich. See Greece above. This will only deepen the crisis, will not make a blind bit of difference to the gauleiters from Brussels and accelerate the breakdown of civil society in Spain. It will happen anyway but as Sun Tzu tells us a quick death is better than a slow death. In the end Spain is toast and so too will be the Euro. As such I stand with you comrade Spaniards, bring it on.

And finally, protesting against austerity at home and the miserly wages they suffer are London’s tube drivers. With annual leave of 43 days a year and on an average salary of £43,000 ( plus £4,000 in travel perks, plus pension) you might not assume that someone who needed just 16 weeks training to start work is exactly at the biting edge of the austerity programme. But comrade Bob Crowe wants his lads to walk out. Crowe is a perennial blackmailer.

One day ( why not now?) someone should call his bluff and sack all RMT workers walking out for no reason. Rehire, re-train and as new train drivers should get paid the same as a nurse (£30,000 average wage) with 20 days a year annual leave and no perks. A few weeks travel chaos but the blackmail has to end one day. In the hope that on this occasion Crowe’s bluff is called, comrade tube drivers I stand shoulder to shoulder with you.

In all three cases the strikes are pointless gestures by workers/non workers in places where the maths do not stack up. In the end the Guardian will go bust and so ( while it stays in the Euro) will Spain and the Tube will have to be reformed. Delay is painful. On that basis bring on the strikes, lets accelerate the process.
Workers of the world unite. You have nothing to lose but your jobs. I mean chains.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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